Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Teacher Fail Turned Victory... Sort Of!

I just have to share this funny story from today!

In May, I was lucky enough to visit the Ron Clark Academy and see the amazing Hope King in person. She taught a great session about games in the classroom and explained how she uses a game called Headbands. I just have to post the picture my friend and I took with her again. I was in complete teacher heaven!

The game is based on the popular board game, Headbandz. Hope adapted it to be used with vocabulary words and when I first heard her explain it, I had one of those, "Why didn't I ever think of that?" moments. Each small group had a large stack of index cards with vocabulary words written on them and one person would wear a headband. That person would load their headband with one vocabulary word at a time by putting the card in their band with the word facing the rest of the group. The other group members worked together to give clues so that headband wearer could guess the word they were showing. Hope set the timer for one minute and we tried to get our headband wearer to guess as many words as possible within that minute. It was a blast! I was so excited to try the "Headbands" game and but never had a chance at the end of the year last year.

Fast forward to this morning. I had the great idea to use the headband format but infuse it with Quiz-Quiz-Trade, one of my absolute favorite Kagan activities that we do each and every day. So I walk around and pass out one card to each student and explain how it will work. I tell them that they will put their word in their headband facing out and then they will stand up-hand up-pair up like normal, but instead of quizzing their partner with a question card, they will listen to their partner give them clues so that they can guess the word they have in their band. They won't trade cards like normal, but just leave their card in their headband and find a new partner. And I'm excited y'all. Like too excited. I've been waiting all summer to do this activity and I was pumped.

So, the kids put their one word in their headband and get with a partner. Then it hits me. Once they have guessed their word, they know what's on their card. And they know their partner's word, so they can't trade cards because the whole point is that you don't know what is on your card. I didn't give them any other words. Duh!!! The whole point of Quiz-Quiz-Trade is that it is a continuous process, where kids meet with multiple partners. So essentially, the whole essence of the Headbands idea was lost! I just had to laugh. I was so embarrassed!

After they figured out their words with their first partners, I had to quickly change my directions. The only thing I could come up with at that moment was that since they already knew their word, their new partners would have to give the definition of the word, which is just like what we do with a normal quiz-quiz-trade card anyway! However, it did turn out better than I expected. The kids still got good practice with our vocabulary words and used more language in the process because our normal cards typically provide the sentence frame or stem. It was just so stinkin' cute to see them walking around with those words on their heads, though! Check them out!

Reflecting back now, I could have had the kids go ahead and trade cards with their partner so at least they had a different word in their headband. Next time, though, I think I will give the kids a stack of at least five or six words so they can carry the words with them and switch their cards out after they meet with each partner. I'm sure there are more ways to make this work, but it was just so funny in the moment!

You live and learn!!!

Happy Wednesday!

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